Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2011 featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework or Chain
Grand Prize Gold Medal Winner
Category: Necklace: Metal Clay
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
Every piece that I design tells a story, so I would describe my style as a "romantic narrative."
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Human feelings and emotions and how I can transform them into a concrete piece of jewelry; something that is intangible and abstract. My pieces are usually intricate and detailed. I strive to achieve a personal and intimate connection with the viewer, leading to a sense of discovery, in which the narrative evolves with time. Although each finished object has a name, this is only the beginning of its story.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
All types of metal clay, silver and gold.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
The design for this piece is inspired by the ancient Mayan concept of destiny, in which a person’s fate is determined by his or her birth date according to the interaction of both their civil and religious calendars.
How did it come together?
It started with the idea of the Mayan doomsday prophecy for 2012 that falls exactly on December 21, which coincides with my birthday. I researched Mayan History and system of writing (glyphs) and translated my birth date and my life into their long count calendar. The piece speaks of who I was, am and will be in the future. Although I do not necessarily believe that a date determines one’s destiny, several elements in the piece adhere to my personal interpretation of that concept.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started working with metal clay in 2007 and now hold all three levels of certification.
Who introduced you to beading?
No one, but I did do some beading before I started working with metal clay and still try to incorporate it when I feel that it will enhance the piece.
Do you have an artistic background?
I am not a trained professional jewelry artist. I hold a PhD in Pathology and subsequently got degrees in Art, History, Antiques and Restoration.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
In an ad in Art Jewelry magazine.
What other hobbies do you have?
Lapidary, silver embossing and painting.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making and beading started as hobbies to lower the stress of my professional career. Now it is a full-time activity. I design and execute pieces for my own collection and also do design work for other prestigious jewelers.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Basically, I have developed my clientele by word-of-mouth: I usually get contacted by people who have seen my work being worn by friends and acquaintances, and by those who have seen my pieces featured in Art Jewelry, Bead Style and Bead and Button magazines. I have also been a finalist in the Bead Dreams competition on two occasions, and in the Swarovski Create-Your-Style contest. Although I am planning to open a website in the near future, I am currently accepting orders by email.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I am an honorary Rotarian, and participate actively in all their charity projects donating jewelry pieces to raise funds for their humanitarian activities. I also donate pieces to the Bead Auction at the Bead and Button show every year for cancer research.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Never stop learning and enjoy every moment of the creative process. Do not be discouraged by temporary setbacks and follow a clear path towards your objectives.
View all of Lucila's designs in the Gallery of Designs.